Easy Mark

Madeira is targeted by a thief who doesn't know what he's in for

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Easy Mark

Postby Madeira Craven on March 24th, 2019, 6:58 pm

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45th of Spring, 519



Madeira winced as the tattooists needle bit a little too deep into the tender flesh of her thigh.

"Be still", Inecino warned her, pulling away to wipe the extra ink off her shockingly pale skin. "We're almost done." Not many people ever saw the Spiritist's thighs, and that included Syna himself. She was as white as new fallen snow and about as fragile. But the way the artist was handling her she was about sure of two things: firstly, this man saw her only as a medium of art, like clay, and expected her to be about as mouldable. Secondly, that he was completely, irrevocably, frustratingly gay.

She had spent bells alone in this mans company over several weeks in his private tattoo room at Lazuli Ink. She had stripped to the waist so he could tattoo her chest and shoulder, and was currently on her back with her skirts rucked up about her hips as he touched her thighs, and she couldn't even get him to look at her. She considered herself a good speaker, able to change the minds of even the most stubborn of mules to suit her needs. But she was beginning to realize there was something missing from her persuasive repertoire. It was humiliating, really. She had to realize she had never once seduced Allister, she simply drags him to bed if she feels the need. As for Ssanya, it took their relationship years to develop naturally from friendship to lovers. Maybe she really was just a horrible flirt.

Well, it was that, or he was gay.

Madeira sucked in delicate a breath, feigning pain. She covered the hand that was currently manhandling her inner thigh with her own as if to make him pause. As she pressed his rough, darkly colourful hand down into her smooth skin she looked up at him from under her lashed, conjuring a blush of demure embarrassment to her cheeks. "Please, go slower."

He raised a brow, nonplussed. "Do you want this done today or not?"

Definitely gay. She fell back with a huff. She would never win over Chiona Dusk if she couldn't even get a man to look at her when she was literally on her back with her legs in the air.

A few more chimes crawled by, punctuated by the tapping of the hammer and needle. Madeira watched the walls, were illustrations and paintings and drawings of every conceivable subject were pined across all available surface area. She remembered another place in Riverfall with art across the walls, and a beautiful Drykas with a freckled face and gentle hands moving down her back, painting another picture in ink across her skin and soul. The memory was bittersweet, and too heavy on her soul at that moment. Shaking herself from it, she instead turned her attention to Inecino. There was something she had been meaning to ask him.

"Have you heard there are businesses shutting their doors to the Towers and their students?" she asked carefully, wary of his answer.

Inecino hummed noncommittally. "What about it?"

"Did you know I'm part of the Towers?"

"I suspected. You're kind of hard to miss, dressing like you do."

"Then you're not closing your doors to us like the rest?"

The man shrugged, continuing to tap away. "Magic user or not, our bodies are the same. It doesn't matter to me what you believe in or what you support. I'm just here to paint stories across your skin."
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Easy Mark

Postby Madeira Craven on March 24th, 2019, 6:59 pm

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A commendable attitude to have, Madeira hummed to herself. Too bad many of the businesses in Lhavit did not share the sentiment. Elena announced today that she would be closing her resources to anyone associated with the Towers. Fine. As a magic teacher she had the right to limit what students she took. Rothsam followed suit like the little bitch he was, and Madeira was just glad to have him farther removed from her life. But when the Observatory and even Tain's art studio followed suit? That was infuriating. Their opinion on the Towers mattered about as much as the opinions of the pigeons that roosted in the eves.

"Done", the artist announced, giving her thigh one last wipe down with a clean cloth. As he stepped back to clear up his tools Madeira inspected the finished tattoo. It was a snake, wrapped around her upper thigh, still oozing beads of colour and blood across the fresh wound. The snake was done in black and gold, with unique ridges over its shining eyes and fangs poking from its slightly open mouth. Madeira compared it with the concept art she had brought with her, a commission she had bought from Martini Elwood at Tain's Studio, before its doors were closed to her forever. It was a perfect recreation. A silly impulse to cry pricked the back of her throat, but she swallowed it down. Ssanya...

"Lay back and I'll wrap it", Inecino returned with a salve and fresh bandages. "Then while you're here I'll check how the other tattoo's are healing."

There were three new ones in all: a lapis tattoo on her shoulder of a badger skull with a flowering stalk of rosemary growing through its empty eyes, another lapis ink of a snarling tiger head across the flat of her chest, and a regular tattoo of a snake wrapped around her thigh. They joined the enormous, abstract hyena tattoo across her back as representations of all the things she had ever loved. She planned to have her children immortalized on her body to join their ranks too one day. But first she would have to track Martini down and beg her to do another commission for her, without the aid of Tain.

After a bit of medical care and some fresh bandages, Madeira settled the bill with Inecino Kimur. She thanked his graciously for his amazing work, which he returned, thanking her for her business. She also gave him a last salacious wink, which he most certainly did not return. Then she was gone, wrapping her cloak around her shoulders, collecting her cane from behind the door, and stepping out into the damp spring morning.

"Emma!", she called for her ghost, pulling her hood over her braided hair. "Come on kitten, time to go."

Ledger :
Lapis tattoo, medium: 45ki*2
Tattoo, medium: 15ki
= 105ki


Last edited by Madeira Craven on March 24th, 2019, 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Easy Mark

Postby Madeira Craven on March 24th, 2019, 7:10 pm

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The gossip mill was running wild today, Madeira noted, as she walked with Emma along the winding paths of the Azure Market. She pulled the hood of her red wool cloak further down her forehead as she passed a group of men in leather aprons who stood smoking in a doorway out of the rain.

"Damn right I support it. I'm tempted to follow suit."

"Ha! You couldn't say no to a buck you greedy shyke. You'll never close your doors to those rich bastards and their Towers."

"Petch you. I'll do it just to prove to those arrogant pricks that their elitism can't get them in every door."

It felt cowardly to hide from the judgment of the populace. But at the same time she wasn't prepared to stick her neck out just to convince some small-minded labourers that they take magic and the institutions that regulate it too lightly. They should go back to their horseshoes and their hammers, and let the people who actually work in the field work it out with one another.

"Pick up the pace, Em, we're on a mission." As they moved out of earshot Madeira turned to the little ghost that was lagging behind. "I need your help to find the best pair of boots in this market, ok? Keep a look out!"

Their first stop was a little clothing shop tucked away and nearly lost between an art gallery and a metalworking shop. The small front-facing window proudly displayed the traditional Lhavitian garb of robes and loose, draping dresses. All of which were in faded, sun-washed colours and fashions at least a decade out of date. At least here Madeira was very unlikely to be harassed by citizens with overinflated opinions.

A bell over the door tinkled musically as the Spiritist stepped inside. Emma sped on ahead, gleefully stepping through the racks of
clothing to look for pretty dresses. Madeira contented herself with a side display of high, rain quality boots. As she poked around an old woman appeared from a back room, smiling hugely at what Madeira suspected was her only customer that day.

"Welcome! Oh, do you need boots for this rain? Of course, everyone does! Do you like these? Made by a master artisan on this very peak! See that exquisite detailing?" the lady all but snatched the boots from her hand to trace the stitching with a swollen, arthritic finger. "Do you like them? Of course you do! I can tell you're a woman of fine, fine taste." Madeira did not miss the way her smile tightened as she looked her up and down, noting the very un-Lhavitian way she dressed. "I couldn't bear to give them up for just anybody, but for you I'd consider it an honour!" She started backing away towards her till, dangling the boots in front of her like she was trying to lure a fussy cat.

Madeira stood bewildered exactly where she was before this force of nature assaulted her, blinking bemusedly, having said not a word.

"Maddy! Look!"

A look of relief washed over the Spiritist as she held up an apologetic hand. "That'll be my ghost. I'll be right back." She backed
away and stepped sideways through an obscuring rack of clothes, cutting the old woman's deep disappointing frown from view. Madeira found Emma towards the back, trying to pick at the sleeve of a truly ugly gown.

"What do you have there, kitten?"

"For you! Try it, try it!" she chanted, twirling with an imaginary skirt in her outstretched fingers.

Pulling it out, she understood why the girl was so taken with it. The thing was pink, Emma's favourite colour, and embroidered with cats along its trailing dupatta scarf. Like many things in this shop, it looked to be second hand. And the layer of dust on it made her think it had not been touched since put on the rack. To top it off, it was obviously made for a woman much curvier than Madeira. The Spiritist had to laugh. Emma's taste hadn't changed since Alvadas.

"Okay, okay, just the one. We can't play dress up all day."

Like the rumble that precedes the earthquake, the old woman pounded through her shop, summoned by the magic words 'dress up'.

"What a wonderful choice!" she bust through a rack of clothing, and Emma vanished with a squeak of fright. "Such exquisite detail! Such classic style! I'd hate to part with it, but it looks to have been made for you!" Shooing Madeira along she all but threw the Spiritist into a stuffy changing room and threw the curtain closed behind her.
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Easy Mark

Postby Madeira Craven on March 24th, 2019, 7:40 pm

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Resigned to her fate, Madeira grumbled only minimally as she unbuttoned herself from her floofy yellow silk and threw the Lhavitian
monstrosity over her head. Yet when she managed to pull the garment over her shoulders, all sense of frustration vanished as she got her first look at herself in the tall mirror in the room with her. The dress she was wearing was not the one she put on. It fit like a glove, and was nowhere close to the draped saree style it was before. This was pearl silk, fit tight over the bodice and full in the skirt, with long sleeves and a high, tight collar. It was decorated with konti-like scales that she remembered being a favourite fashion of hers from Alvadas.

Holy shyke.

She took the dress off and looked at it. It was still the same pearl silk. She checked the lining, the seams, the embroidery, looking for
any type of magic this could possibly be. Finally she tried the dress on again. And sometime between pulling it over her head and looking in the mirror it had changed yet again, into a fine red velvet with a skirt that clinked softly with hundreds of fine gold chains.

Rallying herself, she flexed the dijed stone hidden in her palm under her glove, and pulled at the power in her soul. Auristics sparked in her eyes, and slowly the world bloomed with the aura's hidden from her unaided eyes. Focusing on the dress, she dug deep for its hidden magic, but the magic, it seemed couldn't wait to make her acquaintance. It's aura was enormous for an insentient object and ran deep with colour and patterns she couldn't begin to guess even with the help of the stone. What she could ascertain from its deepening colour was that this was an old magic that hadn't faded even after what could have been centuries of use. It had changed and changed and changed again and has never faded.

And she wanted it.

That shop woman had no idea what she had, or else she would have never kept it on the rack like that. Madeira led the magic fade from her eyes, bring the physical world back into focus as she ran through this dilemma. How would she get this woman to sell to her?

Concentrating as hard as she could on what she wanted, she pulled the dress over her head again and again, watching it change from silk to satin to velvet, and finally to more common fabrics; lsuas and fine wool and cotton. And finally, as she was nearly blue in the face with effort, a nice, simple, linen dress appeared on her body. Perfect.

She swept out from behind the changing curtain, startling the little ghost who had been sitting on the ground as she waited for ages for her master to reappear.

"Where's the dress?!" the ghost complained, a dangerously whinny twinge in her voice.

"Oh, it... didn't fit. I couldn't even get it on. But tell you what-" she rectified quickly, as a transparent little lip crept out from behind a disappointed frown. "If you can be patient, I'll find us a toy store when we're done here and we can pick a toy for the twins and one for you. But you have to be quiet now, okay?" She put a finger to her lip in a shushing motion.

The enticing thought of new toys mollified the girl immediately. She jumped to her feet as quietly as only a ghost can be, and clapped her hand gleefully, and silently, together.

"Attagirl. Okay, with me."

To her left a back room she had not noticed before closed with a snap, and out stepped a weedy little man that might have been the shop woman's brother. She nodded a brief hello to him before tapping her way to the front.
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Easy Mark

Postby Gemma Parker on April 6th, 2019, 10:01 pm

Gemma crushed the dried herbs in her right hand and sprinkled the flakes into the mortar before carefully stirring all of the ingredients together. She was working on recreating the muscle relaxant that Izo had used on her shoulder weeks prior. She had felt so much better at the time, but she had not been able to recreate it, not even in class. Maybe he had somehow mixed in some sort of philter to enhance the power. Of course she could just ask him for the recipe, but she really wanted to impress him by showing that she could hold her own as an herbalist. So here she was.

With the ingredients ground into the paste, Gemma added it to the double boiler in the little backroom workshop she was allowed to use at The Catholicon. Sure, it was dark and a little dank, but it was the closest thing she had to a real herbalist’s workshop. And she cherished it.

With the first half heating up, Gemma added the infused oil she had already prepared and dropped in an ounce of beeswax, stirring everything together on low heat. The wax melted slower, but this way she did not risk losing the potency of the ointment she was making.

When she had finished, she removed the pot from the flame with one hand and set it to the side before extinguishing the fire. She poured the liquid into a jar and watched it cool, blowing on it a little to speed up the process. When it was cool, she moved to the door and shoved a chair against it, since it didn’t have a lock, and returned to her concoction to apply it. She dropped her dress over her shoulder to expose her upper back and shoulder area and, when the ointment was cool enough, she scooped some into her fingers and spread it all over, doing her best to get good and smooth coverage.

She stored the rest and cleaned up, jotting some quick notes about the changes she had made to the original recipe. When the ointment was dry, she slid her dress back into place and headed out.

It was a rainy day, but that was to be expected. Thankfully, Gemma no longer noticed the cold due to her special cloak, so the wet didn’t bother her either. It was an overcast day as well, with just enough light to see relatively well, while being still dark enough to dim a person’s mood if they weren’t careful.

That said. Gemma was excited. She had just finished another whole day of work without needing take a breathing break. Her pneumonia was finally gone! Her shoulder was still sore, but it too was getting better. So long as she didn’t overuse it, she barely needed to use her gnosis mark to sooth it anymore. Before she headed home, though, she wanted to pop into town and get a few things. She walked with a bounce in her step, in no particular hurry, humming a little tune under her breath.

As she walked through the market, though, she was reminded of the political news of the day: several shops had taken a significant stance in the debate of open vs restricted magic instruction. Gemma was not sure exactly which side she thought was fully right, since she though each side had good points. But what she did know was that closing your doors to anyone associated with the towers was a good way to divide the people of the city even more, when what Gemma still hoped for a was a peaceful and mutually beneficial solution for all.

She was entirely absorbed in her own thoughts when she rounded a corner and had to stop herself suddenly to avoid running into a diminutive blonde woman in a simple linen dress.

“Oh! Sorry!” She startled herself, but then she saw that it was Madeira.

“Oh! Madeira! Hey! What are you-” She was going to ask what the woman was doing here, but instead she blurted out, “what are you wearing?” She couldn’t help but laugh. Madeira still wore all her normal jewelry, but her outfit was not her at all.

“You look like you borrowed a dress from my closet,” she said, stepping back and looking the woman up and down. She allowed her voice to take on a mocking imitation of a high-born socialite and said, “don’t tell me I’m the source of such a sudden and dramatic change in fashion sense?” Gemma was of course just goofing around, but she was in such high spirits, she almost couldn’t help but make fun in the moment.
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Easy Mark

Postby Madeira Craven on April 10th, 2019, 11:51 pm

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The shopkeepers face had fallen when Madeira returned to the front, wearing a basic dress so plain that the confection of yellow silk she had draped over her arm was blinding by comparison. The man watched her pass with narrowed eyes.

"Isn't this fabulous?" Madeira gushed to the shopkeeper, holding out her strikingly unremarkable skirt. "There is something so humble about this look. Simple and inexpensive, and the undyed look really brings out the colour of my eyes, no?" Her gloves and jewelry flashed gaudily as Madeira reached for her coin purse with a smile. "What do I owe you for this dress and those boots?"

At the sound of clinking coins the woman perked up immediately. Madeira could nearly see the gears grinding in her head before she adopted her own oily smile.

"Why, a fine choice! And made by a master seamstress on this very peak! Oh, how I'm loathed to part with them both, but perhaps... forty kina would persuade me."

Madeira fought the urge to roll her eyes. It was worth less than half of that. But then again, if the woman knew the item was magical it would make the dress priceless. Should she just accept it, and consider it an unbelievable bargain? Her inner self laughed. Of course not, it purred. She could do better.

"Oh, dear. Is there gold inlaid in the seam? Thirty five gold on a dress is not very humble..."

"The plain look will be the height of fashion! You are merely ahead of the curve, my dear. This is a quality item."

"That would make the boots five kina, yes?" Madeira smiled prettily.

The woman paused, realizing she had let Madeira undervalue the boots by insisting the dress was so expensive. But backing out now would look dishonest. "Ah... Yes."

"Excellent. Well, this dress really must be a marvelous if this fine store sells it. I'll give you seven kina for such a beautiful linen dress." Dijed collected in her throat, pulling itself from her soul and twisting itself to suit her needs. Hypnotism was lathered onto the words, dripping with charisma and a sense of victory. Madeira held the connection as long as she could, letting the feeling burn its way through her thick skull. Seven kina was ten times what a linen dress was really worth, and the words agitated the feeling that snatching that from her would mean the shopkeeper had won.

In the back of the store Madeira heard a gasp and a muffled whump of dropped clothing. She didn't turn her head to investigate, but maintained focus on her hypnotism.

"I shouldn't, but..." The old woman served her a smile that showed all the way to her gums. "I can tell you're a lady of fine taste, so I suppose I could let it go just for you!"

Madeira handed over the twelve kina and thanked the woman kindly for her generosity. With how cheaply she had bought the boots, the total cost less than what the two would be put together. She essentially got the magical garment for free.

The Spiritist collected her ghost and waved genially as she exited the shop, turning just in time to see the weasly man from before dash to the front and whisper something obviously shocking in the shopkeepers ear.

Madeira was still staring behind her, with a creeping feeling up her spine, when she almost collided with a ball of cheerfulness disguised as a Konti.

"Gemma!" Madeira laughed when she recognized the healer. "You're right. It seems we've adopted each others fashion sense today." she indicated expensive, embroidered Okomo wool cloak the Konti was snuggled in. Her voice dropped into the low Lhavitan accent, mostly seen around the port and Sharai peak. "Don't tell me humble old me had anything to do with it?"

She held out an elbow for the Konti to hook her own arm through, and led them both away from the shop. She glanced spuriously behind her, but nobody came out after them, and she let herself think she had gotten away with her deception.

"What are you doing this way? On your way home from the Catholicon?" The woman lived in the Okomo estates, she knew. She had to traverse the entirety of Lhavit to make it home.

From behind her she could feel the prickly energy of her little ghost, who was pouting so hard it was literally changing the temperature of the air around her. Madeira coughed daintily.

"Can we make a quick stop? I promised Emma something."

To their right a toymakers shop window was piled high with fluffy stuffed Okomo, wooden puppies on strings, brightly painted toy boats and spinning tops of every conceivable shape and size. With gentle pressure and heedless of Gemma's protest or enthusiasm, Madeira turned them towards the brightly lit door. Outside a kindly looking old man, who might be the toymaker himself, was puffing on his pipe beneath the striped awning.

He smiled as he watched them approach, but his smile suddenly curdled when Madeira lifted her red hood to smile back.

"We're closed." he announced, stepping into their path to the door.

"Pardon?" Madeira blinked. It was not yet a rest period and the shop was brightly lit and through the window she could see it was manned by a cheerful teller.

"We're closed, to you. We don't want your type here", he gave Madeira a dirty look, and Gemma too, who was guilty by association. Then a cheery little bell tinkled as the man stepped inside his warm shop and slammed the door behind him.

What, first it was independent magic teacher, then artists, observatories, and now petching toymakers have banned Tower people? Something dignified in Madeira was boiling with rage, ticks away from kicking open that door and putting the fear of God into that old man. The other, more rational part of her knew it would do more harm than good, and scare Emma in the process. Mastering herself, she masked her indignation with something sad and contrite before she turned to face the ghost.

"Sorry Em, we'll have to come back another day."

Predictably, this did not sit well with the little girl, who quickly worked herself up to tears. "But you promised!"

"I know, kitten. I'm very sorry. Maybe you'd like to go in there and have a look around yourself, and we can buy whatever you've chosen later. Just remember, all the very best toys are the ones at the back of the shelves." She nodded solemnly, and felt a vindictive little sense of pleasure when the angry, pouting ghost blinked inside to inflict herself upon the quiet little shop.

Chuckling to herself, Madeira steered Gemma back out into the street.

"Sorry about that. Is there anywhere you'd like to go? Not that you're likely to get in everywhere, with me here." She scowled under her hood, holding painfully tightly to the Konti's arm. "Can you believe this nonsense? Elena has closed her little school off from the Towers and the rest of Lhavit is following suit. Gods, its infuriating. What reason do they have to deny us business?"

Ledger :
+Low boots, leather, buckles and chains: -12gm
+Ultimate Party Dress (weekend challenge prize)
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Postby Jomi on May 13th, 2019, 5:08 pm

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"Well you're all a bunch of uppity, self righteous windbags. Thats one."

The cobble stones shimmered faintly as if viewed through a heat mirage as a cloud of soulmist floated low through the bustling market. As he approached the ghosts distant and frayed edges of his dissipated shroud were gathered together and folded inwards. Giving the ghost a sense of solidity as he materialized before the two women. Jomi brought his concentration back to his centre. His palm shone a deep red as he channeled his energy into the stone that resided there and brought awareness to the edges of his soulmist. Drawing the agitated mist back to his core and sculpting his preferred shape of a dark haired young man. The ghosts colours and definition became clear in the bright sun lit street as he pulled himself together anew, becoming indistinguishable from the passing citizenry with the help of the Dira stone.

The ghost gave a deep sardonic laugh as the Konti took one look at his materialized form and peeled herself off of Madeira's arm. Her skirts whipped about her pale legs as she began marching hastily in the opposite direction. Jomi and the herbalist hadn't met again after the episode with the possessed student at the Catholicon. But it seemed obvious that the mild mannered healer still hadn't forgiven him.

"Maybe another time then?" Jomi call after her, his scycle smile turning to his Master as Gemma disappeared down an alley.

The ghost bent at the waist and extended his hand towards trailing skirts of the rough linen dress. He drew up the latent power in his soulcore in order to activate the soulmist in his arms. Jomi rolled out his soulmist and separated the ends. Using the ribbons of transparent etherial mist to pull at all four ends, pulling the skirt taunt as he inspected the second hand garment.

"This dress is simple, common and doesn't make my eyes bleed." The ghost raised a quizzical eyebrow at the spiritist. "Which means you're not wearing it by your own choosing. Did Aldgare finally put a stop to your peacocking?"
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Postby Madeira Craven on May 16th, 2019, 2:58 am

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Madeira felt Jomi before she saw him, but all the prayers in the world couldn't stop a ghost from ruining ones day. By the time her silent plea was finished that shit eating grin had materialized from nowhere, and the Konti had slipped away and booked it down the cobbled street.

"Hello to you too, Jomi", she sighed, already exasperated with her most abrasive and least predictable servant. But as the last of his soulmist condensed and shaped itself she couldn't help but grudgingly admit that he looked, well, splendid. The late afternoon sun cut itself across his high cheeks and the proud slant of his brow. His hair was a glossy curtain about his wide shoulders and he stood so solid and unmistakably real that it took a long moment to realize he didn't cast a shadow. Dira's stone was truly a miraculous gift, but no small part of that was Jomi's own skills. He was turning into quite the masterful ghost.

He bent at the waist, his soulmist plucking at the skirt of her plain linen dress until she kicked it away. Her imbued body made hard contact and a wisp of his precious shroud contracted in bruised pain.

"Lo and behold, not everything I do requires that I explain myself to you. But for your information..." her eyes glittered with a smug kind of glee as she held out her skirt one-handed in a half-curtsy. "My peacocking, as you so succinctly put it, has just begun. This dress is magical, able to change itself every time its worn. I found it quite by chance in a second hand shop."

By the end she was almost squealing like a little girl as she stood there smiling like the cat that got the cream, so pleased with herself. The blip in her day that was her failure in the tattoo parlour, the dismissal of the toymaker and even Jomi's infuriating presence was lessened when put against the fact that she had found a new, astounding magical garment.

"Come on, now that you're here and I've lost both Em and Gemma, you'll have to be my guide." She seized her incorporeal servant by the elbow and towed him away, slipping down a narrow alley to cut through to the other side of the Azure Market. "I promised Emma a toy. Maybe we can find one to surprise her with. And maybe something for the twins too..." she lapsed into thoughtful silence, that turned into a cold, nerve singing silence as she heard the snick of an opening blade in the shadowy doorway beside them

"Don't move, or the lady gets it", a voice muffled by some kind of mask whispered behind them, as the flat of a blade was pressed against Madeira's soft white throat. The Spiritist stopped immediately.

"Don't", she hissed, feeling the blade jump dangerously with the movement of her throat. But she wasn't speaking to the assailant, she was speaking to Jomi. He was not vulnerable to knives, but she was. If Jomi tried to possess the man or otherwise reveal himself as a ghost by slapping the knife away with projection there was a real possibility she would get hurt. She dropped the boots and gown from her arms and held out her empty hands. She was not afraid, as she had done this song and dance before. And if worse did indeed come to worse this man had no idea that the short, vicious looking man beside her was a masterful ghost in disguise. She might get a laceration for her trouble, but not before Jomi ripped this man apart.

"Easy, it's okay", she addressed the man with the knife, her voice soft an non-threatening. "We have money, if that's what you want."

"The rings", a voice demanded. Out of her peripheral vision a gloved hand slid into view, open and waiting. She worked the rings off one by one and dropped them into his palm. As she did she blinked hard and channeled her dijed to her eyes, rolling then almost to the white to try and catch a glimpse of the man without turning her head. The black mark on her palm stirred with the effort and buoyed her vision, expanding the flickering of the man's aura around him.

"The gloves too", he crooked a finger as the last ring fell into his palm. That made her pause. Why on earth would he want the gloves? They were priceless to her, but to everyone else they would look like nothing but a fine pair of lace lady's gloves. Still, she wasn't about to argue. Without a word she pulled the gloves off one at a time. His aura was focused and full of intent, though she couldn't recognize who it belonged too. This was obviously nobody she had met before.

She fought the need to hide her ruined hands from view as the man hurriedly stashed her most precious belongings somewhere on his person.

"Dress", he demanded next.

With the toe of her boot she nudged the yellow silk concoction on the cobblestones over to him.

"No," he rasped. "Not that one."

It took her a moment to realize he wanted the dress she was wearing. That plain, linen garb worth a thousand times less than the silk piled at his feet. And that silk was worth a thousand times less than the collar of diamonds that dripped from her throat just below the long blade of his knife. Aurist, she realized, thinking of the rings and gloves he had already taken, that were all magical items. But if that were true she would have recognized the aura of a student in her Tower. Unless... Damnit all, this is one of the independent magic users the Towers were in open war against. She bit her lip but didn't move.

"Dress." the voice insisted, pressing the knife to her throat so a faint line of red showed at the edge of the wickedly sharp blade. A flare of anger washed through her, and she cut the feed of dijed through her eyes. With gentle coaxing from her soul she reversed the energy, letting it run across the tauntness of her shoulders and the long, straight line of her back. It lifted off her tall, prim posture in waves, focusing on the man she couldn't see with all the force she could muster. With every line of her body she pressed shame into his mind to fester between the spaces in his thoughts.

"No. I cannot stop you if you want to rob me, but I refuse to be humiliated." She was a lady. An aristocrat. And she would not be bullied by the likes of him.

Unlike the last time she was held at knifepoint, this man didn't seem to get any sexual thrill from the act. Or at least she couldn't see any inkling of it in his aura. Still the knife wavered as the thought he was being mistaken as a pervert hit him with that heavy dose of shame. It was strange to know men could stomach being known as a liar and a thief, but not a creep.

"The necklace", he sputtered instead. Dutifully she pulled the starfire key over her head, though she didn't make any move to remove the gold collar. As she suspected, he didn't ask for it.

Now dressed down of every magical item on her person, she felt almost naked. It was like she had her skin stripped away to show the soft pulsing beneath. Her hands flexed uncomfortably in the open air as she waited for the next demand, but it never came. She risked a look over her shoulder, only to see that the nook in the wall was empty. Silent as a rat, the man had slipped away and vanished.

Madeira whirled around with a curse, looking up and down the alley like she might find him in the cracks of the cobbles.

"Jomi, find him." she commanded, full of fire and fury. How dare he get away with her precious things! "Find him right and stay with him, no matter what. I'll find you. Go!"
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Easy Mark

Postby Jomi on May 20th, 2019, 11:06 pm

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Jomi raised his hackles and hissed as he watched the man remove the blade from his Masters throat and scurry back through the darkened doorway with his pilfered treasures. Having been command to sit back like a lump on a log while a thief takes advantage of someone the Kelvic had claimed as his own was upsetting to the hot headed ghost.

The ghost perked up however, when Madeira spun on her heels in a huff. Her normally bright ice blue eyes suddenly narrow and dark as she commanded her servant with an indignant rage.

"Find him right and stay with him, no matter what. I'll find you. Go!"

Jomi's body disintegrated while the echoes of the command still sounded off the thick stone walls. His mists dispersed and thinned, becoming a paltry shadow in the low light of the side street as he shot through the wall and chased after the masked Aurist.

A dark musty corridor materialized before him as Jomi raced through the thick stone. The high stone walls that lined the narrow pathways were marked with moss covered archways and the skeletal remains of dead shrubbery cut off from the nourishing light of the sun. Jomi could hear the scummy green water that collected between the cobblestones give a telltale splash as a pair of soft sole shoes made a hasty retreat down the hall to his left.

A shiver of glee worked its way through Jomi's soulmist as the dark flapping robes of the mage came in view. A musical chime sounded with every step as his brisk jog disrupted the heavy jewel filled pockets. The ghost had spent his entire undead existence languishing in existential boredom but now the badgers long dead predator instincts were creeping back and invading his body like a disease. Jomi's unmaterialized soulmist rolled with delicious tension as he stalked the man. His high strung soulmist frosted the damp stone around him as he glided over the wall. The ghost channelled his excitement inward and pooled it into his soulcore, using the unbridled energy to throw his dematerialized soulmist forward and blink closer to his target.

Jomi chased the man into the sunlight and over the jewelled peak. He watched his remove his featureless wooden mask and leather gloves before he stepped out into the sea of shoppers. Blending seamlessly into the crowd before rounding the corner and arriving back at the small second hand clothes shop and slipping inside.

The ghosts paused before the doorway wildly erratic mists wound and contracted around his soulcore with little more than a thought. Twisting and fusing with each other as they began to build up Jomi's materialized body with the help of the glowing red stone as he inspected the door handle.

The ghost hovered his way to the hooked metal knob and extend a thin ribbon of mist. The invisible strand coiled around the heavy brass as the ghost called up the latent power residing in his soul. The soulmist activated, his energy pressing down against the warm metal as he prepared to enter the shop.
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Easy Mark

Postby Madeira Craven on June 3rd, 2019, 9:54 pm

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Madeira beat out her plain linen skirt, smoothed down her braided hair and wiped a speck of blood off her throat before she picked up her dress and boots and followed.

She walked straight and tall, not hurrying, not pushing through the eager shoppers that collected in front of the market stalls like barnacles on a ship. She went with the flow, following a sense far removed from the sound of the chattering crowed and the smell of perfumes and cooking food. Her bare hands had retracted into her long sleeves out of vanity, but deep in the scar tissue of her right hand she felt the ghost of a kiss brush her palm.

That man, whoever he was, petched up hard when he went after her treasures. There were consequences to touching her now. With Jomi's leash in her hand she was something to fear. The certainty of it burned through her pale eyes like a cold flame.

Unable to walk through walls like Jomi made her slower, but the thief was no more ghost than she was. He took a sequitous route while she simply followed the presence of her servant. Soon she caught up with the spirit, and it was the last place she expected.

The ghost was trying to turn the brass handle of the dingy little second hand shop, with the same dusty out-of-fashion styles cluttering the front facing window. What the hai was a thief doing here? She doubted that that rat had a burning need for ugly faded robes.

"Jomi", she acknowledged him with a nod, and let him open the door by himself. As much as she was ready to brush past him and kick it down, sometimes her servant liked to prove he could still do things the human way. But once the door was open she glided her way inside, her contained fury crackling about her like an electrical storm.

"Oh!" The old woman behind the desk spooked herself, and there was a rattle as the wine bottle she was drinking from was bundled quickly under the counter she stood behind. It didn't take the woman long to recognize this customer, though. Not when she obviously handled so few. Her eyes grew big and she smiled her most oily smile, rubbing her hands together apologetically as she shuffled from behind the counter.

"Oh, wonderful to see you again! Lovely! Do you like those boots? Yes? How about another pair? Made by a master artisian!" She laughed gaily, but her eyes were tight and stressed. "And- and why not another dress? A better one? Oh, you're a woman of fine taste but I've realized I cannot bear to part with the dress you bought! I will buy it back from you, for twice, no, three times what you paid! Isn't that grand? Isn't that generous? You may have any other, if only I could have that back..."

The woman plucked at the Spiritist's sleeve like she meant to pull it off her, as her weight dancing nervously from foot to foot. Madeira snatched back her arm, and pulling it back across her chest, slapped the old woman across the face with the shiny black palm of her left hand. The lady staggered back, shocked, her liver spotted hand clutched to her sagging cheek.

The woman knew! She wasn't an aurist, or she wouldn't have sold the dress to her in the first place, but someone has told her the true nature of the artifact since she left. She knew the thief, knew the plethora of magic items she carried. She knew who had her treasures. Madeira remembered glancing back over her shoulder as Gemma steered her away, and of that weasely little man who had whispered to the old woman. She knew the thief! She was working with him!

"You're not capable of playing that game with me. Stay out of our way", she snarled and pushed past her, her palm tingling with rushing blood. She beckoned Jomi forward, towards a door at the back of the shop where she had first seen the weasely man. She rattled the handle, but found the door locked.

"There'll be a greasy little man on the other side", she told the ghost, stepping aside. "See if he'd be kind enough to open the door for us."
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